Rubric for Evaluating Reading/Language Arts Instructional Materials for Grades K-5

Selecting instructional materials based on rigorous research and standards is an important and time-consuming job at the state, district, and school levels. To facilitate this process, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast has developed a rubric for evaluating reading/language arts instructional and intervention materials for use in elementary grades (K-5).

The rubric is organized by content area in two groups—grades K–2 and grades 3–5. The content areas for grades K–2 are foundational reading skills (print concepts, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency); reading comprehension for literary  and  informational  texts;  writing  development  and  skills;  speaking  and  listening  development and skills; and language development and skills (academic language skills and vocabulary).  

The  content  areas  for  grades  3–5  are  foundational  reading  skills  (advanced  word analysis such as affixes, Greek and Latin roots, and syllable patterns); reading comprehension for literary and informational texts and text complexity; writing development and skills; speaking and listening development and skills; and language development and skills.

Each content area (for example, writing) includes a list of criteria that describe what the instructional materials are expected to include. Each criterion is aligned to recommendations from six What Works Clearinghouse practice guides, and reviewers use a 1–5 scale to rate how well the criteria were met.

Guidance is also provided on when and how to use the rubric—including facilitator responsibilities, professional learning for reviewers, and ways to use the scores.

The tool is available at: